C Ethan Pocic likely to return to Browns?

C Ethan Pocic likely to return to Browns?

In 2022, the Browns planned to have Nick Harris operate as their starting center, and they added veteran Ethan Pocic on a modest one-year pact as Harris insurance.



That turned out to be a savvy acquisition, as Harris suffered a season-ending knee injury in August and Pocic stepped in to start 13 games — he missed a few contests due to a knee ailment of his own — and solidify Cleveland’s O-line.

Pocic, 27, finished the season as the third-best pivot in the league, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics.



C Ethan Pocic likely to return to Browns?

That performance put him in line for a big payday when free agency opens, with Spotrac suggesting that he could land a four-year deal worth over $7M per season.



Although Pocic indicated back in December that he would like to re-sign with the Browns, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says it recently seemed that the team was more likely to allow him to walk and turn the reins back over to Harris.

However, with a number of other quality centers still on track to hit the open market or having been recently added to the market, Pocic could be more affordable than expected. Indeed, Cabot now reports that Pocic is a “good bet” to return to Cleveland.



C Ethan Pocic likely to return to Browns?

The Browns ended the 2022 campaign in the middle of the pack in terms of total offense, a ranking they expect to improve with a full season of a less rusty Deshaun Watson under center.



The club did boast the sixth-best rushing attack, and while the talents of top RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and the capable legs of quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Watson were doubtlessly the primary reason for that showing, Pocic’s efforts as a run-blocker were also a contributing factor.

Pocic, a 2017 second-round pick of the Seahawks, played most of his snaps at guard over his first few professional seasons, and he largely struggled there.



C Ethan Pocic likely to return to Browns?

He established himself as a credible starting center over the 2020-21 seasons in Seattle, though his improvement did not generate much of a market last March.

Under the tutelage of renowned OL coach Bill Callahan in Cleveland, Pocic finally lived up to his draft status, and it appears the Browns will be able to bring him back and maintain some consistency in the middle of their line.


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